Road condition in central asia

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sshhah
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Joined: Mon May 11, 2020 4:55 pm

Road condition in central asia

Post by sshhah »

Hi all,

I am looking to travel through stans and make the most of it in my own car. Before I leave the UK for this epic journey (which will hopefully take me to Australia), I wanted to ask a couple of questions on the road conditions in the central asia region. I understand that if I stick to main roads I do not necessarily need a 4x4. However, I am also very keen to make the most of this once in a life time opportunity and explore as much as possible (i.e. mountain passes, lakes and anything else worth seeing). With this in mind, could anyone please advise if I really need a land cruiser or something like Toyota corolla will take me through Stans and Mongolia as well?


Any insight from those in the know is hugely appreciated.
thanks
Shah
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mazeno
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Re: Road condition in central asia

Post by mazeno »

> could anyone please advise
i'm always astonished with such questions as this is mostly not a problem of a car but of a driver and his driving and repairing skills (and fears).
we don't know you - so what can we tell you?
nothing really reasonable.
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mazeno

Virusman
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Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:01 pm
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Re: Road condition in central asia

Post by Virusman »

go for it with what ever you got..car, bicycle or on foot..You will learn on the way and deal with problems using your brain. Good luck and do not forget to enjoy first..anything that could happen will be memorable..take care of yourself and others on the way
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sshhah
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Re: Road condition in central asia

Post by sshhah »

Good point mazeno, I cant repair a car admittedly but I can drive it ok off road and have done so in many remote parts of the world. it is not the driving that scares me, it is the road conditions and by that I mean - do I need traction controls, ground clearance etc that comes with 4x4 to be able to travel to most scenic points, or the roads are paved enough that will take any sedan to most places.
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mazeno
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Re: Road condition in central asia

Post by mazeno »

it is still the same answer - there is no just straight answer.
you will find very different conditions on the way - solonchaks (dry salt lakes, sometimes very stable, sometimes covered with only some cms of dry crust and half a meter of mud below), quicksands, hard steppe scrubs, snowy or stony tracks in the mountains, bumpy wetlands mixed with broken treetrunks, and more and more.

examples:
once i almost reached the top of kaldama pass (kgz) driving a "civilian" sedan - vw vento (ok, with ca 4cm suspention lift, to be honest, but still 4x2) in 30cm of fresh snow (i bypassed some stuck 4x4, even two caterpillar snowblowers were stuck in the snow some meters BEHIND my car - they were sliding on the slippery ice, they went down for the snowchains and were back on the next day, last 500m to the top i passed - after bivouacking and the way cleaned by the cats - on the next day). some days later i succesfully passed tosor pass (no snow but very stony and tricky path, e.g. you cross the morraine indeed) in the same vw and... two hours later i fell on the issykkul beach "battlefield" while almost relaxing driving (maybe the "pressure" in my mind has gone after the tosor pass).

it is easy to drive through all the sharyn canyon in toyota lc (if it is not to high) but it is impossible in any (even lifted) "civilian" car (nowadays, as there are deep hummock-bumps on the steep entry/exit way made by many 4x4 cars during last years) and also impossible in tatra 815 campervan as there is a "needle's eye" at the end of the canyon. of course, you can leave the car on the parking place and have some walk. but sharyn here is only an example for a "needle's eye".

it is easy to drive on (i mean really ON not only to try drive across and get stuck in) a peatbog somewhere in mongolia in a lightweight russian uaz (of course if you can do it - not to break off the top turf) but almost impossible in a heavy toyota lc laden with luggage for half a year.

---
so.
some say "use wide tires as the bigger tire surface keeps the car on the mud" - some say "use narrow tires as narrow tiretread cleans itself much better than wide".
sometimes i prefer my vw vento than my 4x4 isuzu trooper as it is cheaper twice (1,5 ton of fuel instead 3 tons for a 2 months trip).
sometimes i prefer my 4x4 isuzu than my vw as it is bigger (=comfortable, especially for my wife) and 4x4.
i'm not afraid to drive my sedan in heavy conditions - but i also know how easily i can do it in my 4x4.
again: there is no just straight answer.
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mazeno

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